Spotlight on Calls: What Is a Call Tracking Number?

Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
10 minute read
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
10 minute read

This article is part of a series looking at the value of inbound calls and online call tracking.

The smartphone has revolutionized the average customer’s purchasing behavior. As a result, consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices to help them make informed purchasing decisions.

The numbers show that 70% of mobile searches and 52% of mobile ads result in a phone call. For that reason, businesses need to gain insights into the touchpoints within a single customer shopping session that led to the inbound call.

Call tracking software enables brands to capture critical call data and improve customer experience. But to successfully tie phone calls to the digital customer journey and get more actionable data, every business needs a call tracking phone number.

What Is a Call Tracking Number?

A call tracking number is one of the features that tracking solutions and apps offer users. It lets customers track a personal phone number by showing its location and basic carrier information.

Call tracking numbers are unique phone numbers assigned to marketing campaigns or sessions. A trackable phone number routes every inbound call to your business phone line, making it easy to access various call tracking metrics associated with the particular digital campaign and strategy.

Get more depthful details on call tracking systems here and learn how brands can capture critical data and measure the value of inbound calls.

When companies use call tracking phone numbers, prospective clients have online and offline interactions with them through different campaigns. The trackable phone number can be local, vanity, or toll-free.

The moment a consumer dials up a call, the trackable phone number routes it to the business number allowing a brand to capture data from the customer journey and actions taken once on the phone. Call tracking prevents the data trail from going cold when a customer picks up the phone.

With call tracking systems, the data granularity you get often depends on the level of service sophistication. With Phonexa’s Call Logic, you can capture and capitalize on various types of data, including keywords, call details, date, time, and call outcomes.

Conversational Analytics

Detailed Campaign Data

Real-Time Call Information

Contextual Data

Keywords and conversation patterns

Source campaigns

Caller’s name, phone number, ID, area code, etc.

Previous customer calls, chats, emails, and other communication

Quotes, purchases, appointments, etc.

Marketing channels

Date, time, duration of the call

Purchase behavior

Sentiment analysis

Ad groups

Call recordings

Insights into customer interactions

Voice-to-text transcription

Partner IDs (Google, Adobe, etc.)




From this data, you can see the performance of your marketing campaigns, gain detailed attribution, and determine which resources your business needs to improve conversion and retention rates.

Local Numbers

Local phone numbers connect businesses to a specific region or community. These numbers are highly effective for brands that target customers who prefer buying from small businesses. Local tracking numbers can also be a tremendous asset to marketers running campaigns and targeting audiences in specific locations and media markets.

Toll-free Numbers

Toll-free tracking numbers project an international impression of your business. Since these numbers are toll-free, customers don’t incur any costs when they call, even when they call across different regions.

Marketers often use toll-free (800) telephone numbers with paid search campaigns on Google Ads and landing pages. Without 800 number tracking, companies often deal with ineffective campaign optimization and risk misinterpreting the results due to the lack of data.

With only half the data, it takes much longer for brands to evaluate the performance of every digital campaign and identify statistically significant trends that cause an increase or decrease in retention or conversion performance. But when 800 number tracking is in place, businesses can assess the impact of their multi-location marketing efforts on sales and work successful marketing experiments into regular ad programs.

Toll-free vanity numbers can also be used for conventional offline marketing campaigns, such as billboards, TV, or radio ads. Moreover, marketers can use toll-free numbers for digital campaigns while waiting for the trackable phone numbers to go live on the website.

Vanity Tracking Numbers

Brands use vanity numbers to stand out and raise brand awareness. Primarily, such numbers are highly valued because they are memorable and can be linked to specific marketing initiatives.

Here are some of the critical benefits vanity numbers offer to brands:

  • Increased call volume with memorable words or phrases as part of unique phone numbers
  • Expansion of national and local presence
  • Higher brand awareness

Why Use Call Tracking for Marketing Campaigns

Tracking telephone calls helps marketers understand how organic, search, and referral traffic influence call conversions. For instance, if a PPC campaign triggers calls, it’s crucial to understand which keywords drive these outcomes.

Call tracking software enables brands to gain insights into the customer journey. By understanding what happens online and during the call, businesses can close the gap between the leads generated online and offline.

Read our “How Does Call Tracking Work?” article to find out how call tracking helps businesses attribute inbound call outcomes to their campaigns of origin.

Call tracking providers help businesses enable Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) on their landing pages, ads, or sites. They also provide each visitor a dedicated number depending on the medium (organic, referral, paid search, email, etc.).

This way, marketers get detailed information about the callers who clicked a specific ad or SEO listing and learn how a particular journey resulted in them dialing your actual business number.

Static vs. Dynamic Call Tracking Numbers

Some brands still use static call number tracking. It enables marketers to assign specific phone numbers to online and conventional marketing channels like TV ads, flyers, or billboards.

Let’s examine how static call number tracking works in more detail.

When businesses use static number tracking, each advertising source is assigned specific phone numbers.

Static Call Tracking

When a customer calls a business, the software redirects the call to the business phone line. Then, the system matches the dialed number with the advertising source.

Afterward, the advertising source is displayed in the call log along with other caller information like name, phone number, audio recording, duration and time of the call, etc. Finally, the provider of call tracking services transfers data to Google Analytics or another integrated solution.

The process is a bit more complicated when it comes to dynamic call tracking. With the help of a call tracking code, it allows websites to use multiple phone numbers and swap them for each user who gets to a website. Businesses use it for campaign-level, channel-based, and session-level call tracking.

Here is how it works:

  • Visitors land on the company website or a landing page
  • They see different telephone tracking numbers
  • The system collects details about these visits and matches them with trackable phone numbers
  • The call log displays ad sources, channels, campaigns, keywords, and other valuable information
  • The data is transferred to another integrated system (if any)

The principal difference is that dynamic call number tracking associates the calls with users’ sessions but not with the ad source like the static method.

Ultimately, it helps brands view the visitors’ conversion history and gain a bird’s eye view of every individual customer journey by transferring call data to the analytics system.

How To Determine a Dynamic Number Pool

Marketers often struggle to determine how big a pool of toll-free tracking numbers they need to gain all the critical data. However, paying attention to this issue is essential since analytics accuracy depends on the number of reserved numbers for the tracking pool.

As you already know, trackable phone numbers route inbound calls to the business phone numbers of your choice. The volume of numbers offered by service providers as part of a package may differ, and additional numbers typically cost extra.

If your website visitors suddenly increase, you might need to reserve or lease more phone numbers. Therefore, you should learn how to calculate your required phone number pool.

Here’s one of the ways to determine how many phone numbers you need to reserve based on traffic and consumer interest:

  1. Determine the average number of website visits for the last 72 hours
  2. Plug those numbers into the following formula

The number of visits for the last 72 hours / 3 days / 100

Let’s say that the number of website visits is 5800. If we use the formula, we get the following result:

5800 / 3 / 100 = 19,3

It means that you need to reserve about 20 numbers for your business tracking pool. Some service providers will even allow you to automate your service pools.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Tracking Numbers, and What Are the Alternatives?

It’s no secret that utilizing a phone tracking number has benefits and drawbacks. While it helps businesses improve their digital marketing performance, there are also specific drawbacks associated with dynamic number insertion.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of tracking telephone calls with dedicated numbers.


  • Higher marketing ROI
  • Access to detailed caller information
  • High conversion and retention rates
  • Ability to optimize media spend
  • Improved marketing messaging


  • Multiple phone numbers may confuse customers
  • Too many numbers may affect SEO rankings
  • Additional toll-free, vanity, or local tracking numbers cost extra
  • DNI requires frequent updates of marketing materials
  • Lack of reserved numbers in the tracking pool may affect lead tracking

Despite all the drawbacks, this method remains the most popular among brands. But if you’re looking for alternatives, consider using Google’s services to track inbound calls and conversions from ads.

Equipping your brand with the right solutions is essential to the success of your marketing efforts. So the best approach, in this case, is to integrate call tracking data with other martech solutions like Google Analytics, Salesforce, or HubSpot.

Best Practices for Call Tracking Number Implementation

Most customer-facing businesses need to use the right call intelligence solution and track toll-free numbers to evaluate marketing performance, successfully recalibrate marketing strategies, encompass caller information, and much more.

Here are some of the best practices of trackable phone number implementation:

  • Niche marketing: Customer-facing companies in insurance, healthcare, home services, or legal business can record phone calls, identify top-performing ad campaigns, elevate customer experience, and create a seamless customer journey.
  • Financial companies: Clients often have numerous questions regarding credit, mortgage, or insurance. Using trackable phone numbers and a call intelligence solution helps financial companies build trust, deliver personalized customer service, and capture the needed caller information.
  • Hotels and travel companies: Call tracking features, including trackable phone numbers, enable businesses to identify the channels that drive more calls, optimize marketing spend, and deliver personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Use Call Tracking Software to Track Calls

Today, marketing experts cannot afford to ignore the importance of tracking inbound calls. As an effective way of gathering data, it can help brands understand the performance of different marketing campaigns, create customizable journeys, and boost revenue.

Schedule a consultationto learn how Call Logic, Phonexa’s call tracking, and distribution solution, can help you capture insightful phonecall data, get more conversions, and streamline your campaigns.

Call Tracking Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out where a call tracking number routes to?

When you acquire a trackable phone number, you need to assign it a destination number. It can be any of your business phone numbers. This helps ensure that every customer calling one of your local or toll-free tracking numbers will be forwarded to the destination number of your choice.

How can I get a phone number to track calls in Google Ads?

Depending on the provider of call tracking services, you can acquire different quantities of call tracking numbers. Clients typically don’t have to buy phone numbers; they can lease local, vanity, and toll-free tracking numbers and use them for various campaigns, including Google Ads.

If you are a Phonexa client, check this short guide to learn how you can integrate our Call Logic platform with Google Analytics.

Should I add a hard-coded call tracking number to the website or landing page?

It is not recommended to add hard-coded telephone tracking numbers to landing pages or websites. However, DNI can review the referring URL, landing page, or website and determine whether there is a need to replace the hard-coded number with one from your tracking pool.

Are you new to call tracking as a whole? Check out this 10-minute guide to Call Tracking & Conversation Intelligence.

Got Questions?

Get in touch! We are available 24/7.

Victoria Berezhetska avatar
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. In her work at Phonexa, she covers diverse topics around digital marketing, including affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead generation, marketing automation, and so much more.

Education: City University of Seattle

Expertise: Affiliate marketing, digital marketing, call tracking, lead generation, insurance


  • 8+ years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in building customer loyalty

  • Deep B2B and B2C content expertise intertwined with strong analytical and interpersonal skills

  • Unwavering drive for growth and commitment to creating impactful content

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